Centre confirms 23 new cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 23 new cases of Lassa fever that were recorded between Feb. 18 and Feb. 24.

NCDC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that 1,279 suspected cases had been reported from 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from Jan. 1 to Feb. 24, 2019.

He said that 381 of this figure were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 858 negative.
According to him, from the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 83 deaths in confirmed cases.

Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 21.8 per cent, he said.

The CEO said that Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River, had recorded at least one confirmed case in 66 local government areas.

He, however, noted that in reporting week 08, two new health workers were affected in Edo.

Ihekweazu said that 15 healthcare workers had been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states.

The NCDC said that 55 patients were hospitalised at designated centres for managing the illness: 27 in Irrua; nine in Owo; one in Abakiliki; one in Bauchi, seven in Plateau; seven in Taraba; one in Gombe; one in Kaduna, and one in Kebbi.

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He said that 4,499 people suspected to have had contact with those infected, had been identified in 18 states.

Ihekweazu said that 1,987 of the suspected contacts were being followed up; another 2,461 had completed the mandatory 21 days of follow up, to be sure they did not show any symptoms.

He noted that four persons were lost to follow up, and 77 symptomatic contacts were identified, of which 47 tested positive.

The CEO said that multi-sectoral one health national rapid response teams (NCDC, NFELTP, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Federal Ministry of Environment) were deployed to Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi.

NCDC provided an ambulance to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, while the National Lassa fever multi-partner and the multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre continue to coordinate the response activities at all levels.